Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts has opened new facility at the Babraham Research Campus, a hub of bioscience innovation at the heart of the Cambridge cluster. The new Jonas Webb Building is the latest phase of development following £44M investment from BBSRC to deliver innovation from the research base, generate economic growth and create jobs.
The building houses both laboratory and office facilities and is specifically designed to accommodate growing companies. David Willets toured the laboratories of one of the organisations that will use the facility, Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRT), the cancer-focused technology development and commercialisation arm of Cancer Research UK.
Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: "I am delighted to open the new Jonas Webb Building. The research conducted here will enhance our knowledge of human health, developing new cancer treatments and helping to transform and save lives."
Construction of the Jonas Webb Building started last year when David Willetts visited the site to cut the first turf.
Derek Jones for the Babraham Research Campus said: "We are delighted to have the Minister return to open the building that he visited last year to cut the first turf. Within 15 months of that date, the building has been completed and the first three companies have taken occupancy; it is now already 80 per cent full. It is a great credit to all those involved in its design and construction, both the external contractors and our internal team. We welcome Cancer Research Technology, Biosceptre and Sphere Fluidics to join the other 45 companies who have made Babraham their home, co-located with the academic community of the Babraham Institute."
The Jonas Webb Building is a new chemistry-focused building and offers around 1,500 square meters of lettable space, which will include 24 fume hoods, open plan bench space, offices and meeting rooms.
BBSRC's £44M investment, made in 2011, has already provided the Babraham Research Campus with upgraded infrastructure and a new bioincubator building. This will shortly be joined by further phases of an additional follow-on building and expanded scientific support facilities.
Douglas Kell, BBSRC Chief Executive, said: "In just 2 years we are already seeing huge impacts from BBSRC funding in these new facilities and infrastructure. Not only are we providing state-of-the-art-facilities for our world-leading scientists, we are helping new bioscience companies to flourish. The Babraham Research Campus is already home to 45 companies and with a new follow-on laboratory building and further scientific and technical services in development, we look forward to seeing further growth to benefit the UK economy."
For more information on the developments, see: www.bbsrc.ac.uk/organisation/research-innovation-campuses/babraham-research-campus.aspx
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